Although the first leg result had led some to think that the Austrian side LASK were pushovers, LASK had however lost just one of their last seven Europa League games (W4 D2), that one defeat coming against United in the first leg. Even Solskjaer had admitted “it wasn’t a 5-0 difference between the teams”. Moreover, in that match, LASK had conceded as many goals (5) as they had done in their first eight matches in the competition this season.
In spite of this, the Manager rested key players and opted for squad rotation. United have now used 35 different players in this season’s Europa League, seven more than any other side (Sevilla, 28).
United went behind in the second half after a stunning 25-yard strike from Philipp Wiesinger had given LASK a lead that had not been undeserved. However United soon equalized, with Jesse Lingard scoring as many goals in the past 11 days as he did in the previous eight months and his finish from Juan Mata’s through ball drew United level moments later. Surprisingly Jesse was replaced just 6 minutes later. Scholes, the former United midfielder viewed Lingard’s premature withdrawal as further evidence that Solskjaer might be making preparations to “get rid” of Lingard!
The Boss seemed to be dissatisfied with a draw and threw on Anthony Martial, whose 23rd goal of the season after a neat interchange with Mata was enough to win it late on for United.
I consider my Man of the Match to be Jesse Lingard. He was the sharpest attacker on the pitch and offered some elegant and probing flicks and claimed his second goal to equalize before coming off. He looked unhappy to be coming off – which can only be a good thing.
United have not won a major trophy since beating Ajax in the 2017 Europa League final. Winning the Europa League would be “massive” and a “big step forward” for Manchester United, says boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Article contributed by Contributor Kenneth. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.